Summer 2016… IT’S FINALLY HERE! I love summer for so many reasons. Some of the things that I look forward to the most are spending endless days on the beach and turning the dial down on our busy, hectic schedules (because nothing makes you slow down like hot, humid, long days, in a good way). But most of all, I love FRESH PRODUCE!
I enjoy working out in the garden, shopping the great selection of produce at our local Farmers Market and trying new things. There is nothing like sweet Carolina peaches, freshly husked corn and tomatoes ripening on the window sill. I thought it would be fun to share my favorite top 20 summer food and beverage items. These 20 items I have in my house at all times; in the fridge, on the shelf and accessible the entire summer. Here’s my list of items to survive the heat, sweeten up your day and use in countless yummy recipes or by themselves, raw! I have also included my favorite uses for each one.
- Tomatoes (raw, sliced for caprese salad)
- Cucumbers (infused in water, on salads, raw, on puffy eyes)
- Avocados (diced for salads, in guacamole, on toast)
- Corn (in Lowcountry boil, grilled, on pizza, made into street corn)
- Celery (in Bloody Marys, used for “Ants on a Log” snack, dipped in hummus)
- Bell Peppers (grilled, on salads, raw)
- Greens (love arugula for salads, kale chips and spinach in wraps)
- Lemon (on fish, squeezed and mixed with olive oil for salads)
- Lime (squeezed on salads, in gin & tonics, great squeezed on everything!)
- Strawberries (snack go-to, infused in water, boiled down for jam)
- Raspberries (snack go-to, in prosecco, on salads)
- Peaches (raw, sliced on salads and grilled)
- Mangos (juiced, on salads and raw)
- Almonds (snack go-to, on salads, on cheese plate)
- Cheese (MUST HAVE 4 KINDS OF CHEESE ON HAND, ALWAYS!)
- Hummus (yummy, easy snack, great with celery/peppers/carrots)
- Rose Wine (best way to cool down on a HOT day!)
- Prosecco (a must-have drink for celebrating summer, which is a party everyday!)
- Giant Tervis Tumbler (in 100% humidity, it’s important to drink lots of water)
- Bourbon (Bourbon is bourbon… All year long, strong! Enough said)
For me, these are the items that make me think of summer the most. They taste like sunshine, they make me smile and I feel good when I consume them and afterwards as well. I eat a lot more salads in the summer; there is just so much great produce to choose from and to work with! It’s fun to change up our normal routines by web searching a favorite ingredient and exploring what recipes appear. It was by doing this that I discovered my favorite peach salad recipe last summer. Hopefully my list will assist you in creating your very own: Top 20 Summer Items! If you come up with a good one, please email it to me 🙂 Happy Summer!